Police say local woman went from scam victim to scam suspect - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Dexter, MO

Police say local woman went from scam victim to scam suspect

Police say local woman went from scam victim to scam suspect
By: CJ Cassidy

DEXTER, Mo. - Family members of a local woman call her a victim - but police say she went from victim to scammer.

We've brought you dozens of reports of scammers and their elaborate schemes over the years, so it's almost shocking to hear of people falling victim to the same scams.

Dexter police say a woman there went one step better when she allegedly teamed up with the scam artists. The packages keep coming to Cathy Chamberlain's home, long after her arrest on forgery charges.

Chamberlain's family's trying to make sense of her arrest, after her alleged involvement with a Nigerian scam artist - a man investigators say initially tried to scam Chamberlain herself, with bogus traveller's checks. "She was advised the traveler's checks were forgeries and asked to turn those in to police department," Detective Trevor Pulley with the Dexter Police Department says.

But apparently Chamberlain got involved in the scam. Police say she helped the scammer by taking in goods he purchased online with stolen credit cards. "She was receiving various merchandise and then she would receive a prepaid mailing label, which she would use to forward the packages on to Nigeria," Pulley explains.

Chamberlain's family tells another story. They say Cathy met the man of her dreams online; or so she thought. "She told me he was saying he was going to buy her daughter a car for graduation, and he was sending her stuff. For Valentine's day he sent her $300 worth of chocolates, and he sent my mom a dozen roses. He just used them," Beverly Scott, Chamberlain's older sister, reflects.

Add to that jewelery and promises of a rosy future, and Chamberlain's disabled mother says her daughter didn't stand a chance. "I love my daughter very much. I can hardly walk but if I get a hold of that guy and can get him down, I guarantee you he'd have one messed up face," she says.

Chamberlain's family also says Cathy only had a second grade education, so maybe that's why she was victimized so easily. Police say they just want people to be careful, and not blindly go along with a scheme that sounds too good to be true - it's probably a scam, and you could end up getting charged yourself.

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